Friday, January 8, 2010

A-ha! Not the band

I *should* be on the treadmill right now but I am not. But I am also not eating the bag of cheese doodles in my closet so I think it's okay.

I've had a breakthrough. One of those breakthroughs I have to blog about right away. One of those breakthroughs that make me say "Duh." The best part of my new life--the social talking to people one--is that every once in a while one of  my mom friends will say something or do something that is so obviously want I need to hear (most often said unintentionally).

I've always felt that I had more control over SkyWalker when he was younger than I do over the Princess now and I never really understood why. I know that they are different children. He was much calmer than she is now (although he's CRAZY now). But I think I finally realized that I did this to myself. I'm not saying that she is out of control--she's not--or that she is "in charge"--she's not. But I often feel like I'm walking on eggshells with her or that everything is a struggle. Anyway, this is not an excuse, but I realized today that when I got pregnant with Chewie she was only 17 months old. 17 months! From that time until she was 2 I spent much of it with my head in the toilet. Pregnancy is hard enough without "morning" sickness that lasts for months. So at the very same time that she started to test the limits, I was at my weakest. I didn't have the energy. I couldn't fight TWO children when I was running to the bathroom. So I didn't. And there's also the fact that I have worried about her since I was 20 weeks pregnant with her--she has had THREE surgeries. She has gone under anesthesia THREE times. Been cut open. I think it's natural for me to want to just make her happy. She's also way more emotional than SkyWalker ever was and prone to tantrums over the most ridiculous things. So when I go upstairs in the morning to feed Chewie and she starts whining that she wants to go downstairs and I know what she really wants to do is watch Curious George and I really don't want her to, I wind up feeding Chewie downstairs even though I don't want to because I don't want to deal with a tantrum in the morning. I don't ever want to deal with a tantrum. There are so many things going on--I don't want the tantrum; she's more emotional and prone to it; she talks so damn well I forget she's only 2 1/2 and I think she will listen to reason; I just want her to be happy. I will frequently say "Stop the whining, I don't want any more whining!" as I am fulfilling whatever request she is whining about.

And then my friend mentioned how when her daughter is whining or crying she does not respond at all. Seems simple really. She just doesn't even listen/talk to her daughter at all. She doesn't try to reason or explain. So the last two days I have been standing my ground a lot more and I have been completely ignoring the tantrums. And we have had the most pleasant time. She eventually gets over it and moves on. I'm not rewarding her with the attention she's looking for with the crying. I think I keep forgetting that she's only 2 1/2 because of how well she speaks and I'm also forgetting that I can't use the same techniques on both her and SkyWalker. He's 5. He needs the explanation, he listens to reason most of the time, he's a big boy. She's still very much a little girl. 

I focus so much of my parenting behavior on SkyWalker and sometimes forget my Princess. Someone remind me of this 2 years from now when Chewie starts going crazy.

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1 comment:

Felice said...

Yup. Best trick in the book. Ever since the Great Library Parking Lot episode, I have walked away from Conal's tantrums. It works. It is not always pretty, but it works. Sometimes I do try to reason with him, but then I slap myself back to reality and turn away.There are peeps out there, though, who will shoot nasty looks, etc., at you. Be warned. And be strong.GOOD LUCK!!!